Gathan Beaga

maybe the dozen

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 1993 (front)Just over ten years ago we turned the car into Rockford on Krondorf Road, in the Barossa. A vastly well-informed relative had clued us in to visiting them.

We were on our honeymoon, driving thousands of kilometres across Australia listening to Pulp, and Roy and ‘Haitch’ G on Triple J in the hot late summer, bottles of wine under a blanket in the back seat and the aircon on the tinny wee car maxed out. We’d started in the Hunter, overpriced and ruined by its proximity to the feral hordes of Sydney; took a meandering route through mountains, across dusty plains, finding relief at last across the Murray in the range of hills that the Barossa lay in.

We loved the Barossa.

And Rockford especially, a no-shit kind of place where they really looked after those making the journey to their door. You get this flavour from their website, where there’s only one page.

“At Rockford we’re into actual not virtual”, it says.

Anyway, we came away with half a dozen of this, the ’93 basket press shiraz, and another half dozen of their sparkling black shiraz (another fucking amazing drop). And, perhaps the best in the entire haul, a magnum of the ’92 basket press shiraz which we are still waiting for the right moment to crack.

It was more than we could afford at the time, but it’s paid us back. We’ve eked it out over the years with friends and relations, until now there’s just a couple bottles of each, and they need having.

This evening then it was a little family thing, a birthday celebration for R.’s sister. Lots of food; kids going nuts; barbequing steak in the cold and dark and rain outside (sob for me); talk and wine. Seemed like the right time for a red; and there they were hidden in the bottom of a pile of stuff in the spare room.

Opened almost reverently, decanted, and left to breathe and come to room temperature, served with dinner. None of us experts on wine but all of us realising with the first taste that this was something special. Full of character, with the rough edges long since polished off during the long wait in the bottle, spiced with remembrance of where and when and why we bought it.

There’s no point me trying to describe it in wine-geek language – leave that to here, here and here.

The best thing about all this is that it’s not yet the last we have. And then one day we’ll have to be back to Rockford to pick up some more. Sounds like an anniversary trip, eh?